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There are Family Feuds, and Then There's This 

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* updated *

There are Vermont State Police press releases that reporters scan and barely read, and then there are more interesting missives, such as the one that arrived this morning from the St. Albans barracks.

VSP releases generally take the Joe Friday "just the facts ma'am" approach — sometimes even less. Occassionally you'll get a wry comment thrown in for good measure.

I'll always remember one particular line I came across in the 1980s when I worked at the Barton Chronicle. A trooper in the Derby barracks was filling out the requisite paperwork to detail the damage done to a car after it struck a deer. Just how many times can you write, "The operator's vehicle struck a deer" in a given week?

That's where this trooper decided to take some literary license, noting: "the operator's vehicle struck a doe, a deer, a female deer."

What Trooper Timothy Woch's report below about breaking up a family fight in Franklin County lacks in references to famous musicals, it makes up for in scene setting.

So, I offer this post-Thanksgiving nugget in hopes that you can say no matter how bitter the argument or disagreement that you didn't have to call in the cops. And, when you did call them, that you didn't turn on them, like this family did.

Here the report as issued to the Vermont media at 12:41 a.m.

VIOLATION: Assault on State Trooper, Resisting Arrest, Domestic Assault,
Disorderly Conduct
ACCUSED: Jacquelyn Mitchell                       
AGE: 21
VICTIMS: State Police and Family Members                                       
On 11/25/2010 at approximately 1930 hours as many families across Vermont were enjoying the company of family and friends over Thanksgiving Dinner, State Troopers assigned to the St. Albans Barracks responded to an East Fairfield residence for a domestic assault during which an out-of-control 21 year-old assaulted her father.

Upon arrival, State Troopers observed an intoxicated 21-year-old Jacquelyn Mitchell from East Farifield being restrained by her family. As State Troopers attempted to place Mitchell under arrest, Mitchell wildly and uncontrollably hurled spit and phlegm in the faces of the Troopers.

As the Troopers attempted to transfer Mitchell into their custody, the family — who had initially been thankful that the State Police had arrived to assist them in their time of need — turned on the Troopers and engaged them in a "pack mentality" as the Troopers attempted to control Mitchell and render the scene safe.
Mitchell was ultimately transported to the St. Albans Barracks for processing. During the transport and upon arrival at the Barracks, Mitchell screamed graphic homophobic slurs toward Troopers and needed to be physically restrained on multiple occasions.

Mitchell was lodged at the Northwest Correctional Facility on charges of Assault on Law Enforcement, Resisting Arrest, Domestic Assault, and Disorderly Conduct.

So, how did you spend your Thanksgiving?

* update at 3:50 p.m. *

At around noon, Patrol Commander Jim Bose issued a corrected and updated press release that was nearly identical from the earlier missive issued by Woch. The key difference is the paragraph noting the family's "pack mentality" and turning on the troopers was removed.

So, why did he remove the paragraph?

Bose explained his editing to Seven Days via email: "I removed the paragraph because I was there and this was not the case!"

Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

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About The Author

Shay Totten

Shay Totten

Shay Totten wrote "Fair Game," a weekly political column, from April 2008-December 2011.

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